Many observers have noticed that the employee stock purchase plans of companies in the western United States seem to offer better discounts and lookbacks for employees than do their counterparts elsewhere in the country. A recent analysis proves that this observation is more than just anecdotal. In a post on the NASPP Blog, Executive Director Barbara Baska presents her analysis of the NASPP's current survey data on ESPPs to compare ESPP practices in the western region with those throughout the US in general. Among the significant findings: 93% of ESPPs in the western region are Section 423 plans. This is much higher than the overall national percentage of 77%. Among the western Section 423 plans:
- 89% offer a 15% discount (only 79% nationally).
- 81% (only 66% nationally) base their purchase price on the beginning or ending FMV, whichever is lower.
- 22% have 24-month offering periods (19% nationally).
- 58% have six-month offering periods (48% nationally), while three-month periods exist at 9% (18% nationally), and 12-month periods occur at 8% (11% nationally).
Most importantly, the more generous ESPPs of western companies translate into higher levels of participation:
- 48% of companies in the western region report participation of greater than 50%.
- Throughout the US in general, only 29% of companies report achieving this level of participation.
For more survey data on ESPPs and their features, see a detailed FAQ in the ESPP section of myStockOptions.com.